Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Fit's the Key

Last night was Returning Heroes, an annual ball hosted by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers in Holliston. Returning Heroes is super special, because it is the only ball of the year at which period costume is required. It's a lot of fun, Spare Parts is wonderful, and 60s clothes will always be my favorite evening wear. This year was a smaller crowd, but just as lively as always and everyone seemed to have a great time! 

making bowers during the Grand March. What a lovely mix of uniforms and civilian tails!

I've had a lot going on the past couple of months, and I really want to make some new things for the Regency Weekend in April, so I decided not to make anything new for this ball. Instead, I worked on fixing the dress I wore last year--fixing issues is something I rarely do, and I need to get better at making it a habit. What a difference it made!

last year at RH: wrinkly, gap-y bodice
this year: no gaps in the neckline and no wrinkles!

When I originally made my pink plaid ballgown last March, the waist was too long. When the dress was on over my hoops (with the waistline at my waist, where it was supposed to be), there was too much room in the bodice, and it meant the whole bodice was wrinkled and the neckline gaped. To fix it, I should have taken the skirt off the waistband, shortened the bodice, and reattached the skirt higher up...but I really didn't want to do that. I had a lot of trouble cartridge pleating this fabric because my thread kept breaking, and I was afraid undoing the waist seam would ruin the pleats. So instead, I took a tuck out of the waist just above the seam--the adjustment was visible, but I made a quick velvet sash to cover it. Voila! A bodice that actually fits!

a much better fit, and a fabulous sash!
I am always discouraged when I finish a project and it doesn't fit perfectly, but making adjustments is part of why clothes I make for myself could end up fitting perfectly once I fix them. I need to get in the habit of doing that, rather than abandoning the project or learning to live with the bad fit. Lesson learned!

And a few more Returning Heroes shots:

setting up for refreshments

serving Charlotte Russe

group shot!


  1. AWWWW, such LOVELY pictures! I'm so glad you liked the grand march one! ;) The other ones are great too. That's a lot of great shots of everyone, really! The dance card one is cute, too! And such dashing gentlemen (too bad my hands are higher than the rest of yours in the final shot!).


    1. Thanks! Hope you had fun going through the rest! It was a good group to photograph because as a crowd the room was quite a spectacle!

      And that dance card one I took of you is one of my favorites from the evening, I think :)

    2. Yes, you caught me making a NOT stupid face! Impressive! :)